IHS Jane’s and GeoEye Estimate Inauguration Crowd Gathered in Washington

IHS Jane’s Satellite Analyst Allison Puccioni

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 8:00 am EST


"Our margin is dependent upon the estimated levels of crowd density, we used a conservative estimate for the allotted area, then a higher-end estimate for the same area, hence the spread."

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IHS Jane’s has finalized the estimation of the crowd count at President Barack Obama’s inaugural event. The methodology involved taking precise geospatial measurements of 71 different sectors over the Capitol in advance of the event, then analyzing the GeoEye-1 satellite image acquired at 11:19 a.m. on 20 January 2009. The imagery was evaluated to determine crowd density at the event, which ranged from .1 to 5 people per square meter. After establishing the number of people in each predetmined sector, all the areas were added together to produce a final estimate.

Allison Puccioni, IHS Jane’s satellite imagery analyst, explained, “After measuring the size and analyzing the density of the crowd populations in the image taken by the GeoEye-1 satellite at 11:19 a.m. East Coast Time, we have concluded that there are between 1.031 million and 1.411 million people present.”

“This does not include the assumed 240,000 people in the designated ticketholder areas. If all ticketholders are present, the number increases to 1.271 – 1.651 million people.”

“Our margin is dependent upon the estimated levels of crowd density, we used a conservative estimate for the allotted area, then a higher-end estimate for the same area, hence the spread. ”

Three points to note about the estimate:

- This does not include those people present in the federal buildings that were specifically open to the public – the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center, the Old Post Office, the FAA buildings (East and West), and the Ford Senate house. I cannot estimate the number of people who were in those buildings.
- The satellite image does not extend over the White House, Farragut Square, McPherson Square, Franklin Square, and Lafayette Square (though Lafayette doesn’t matter as it is a designated ticketholder area). There may likely be people present there too.
- The flux of people outside Smithsonian Metro Station, Union Station, and the apparent security checkpoints strongly indicates that people are still flowing into this event at the time of satellite image acquisition.
To interview Allison Puccioni, IHS Jane’s satellite analyst, please contact Mandy Castle, PR Manager, IHS Jane’s.

Allison Puccioni, IHS Jane’s Satellite Analyst

Allison Puccioni began her career in imagery intelligence (IMINT) in 1992, beginning with two tours as an imagery analyst in the U.S. Army, culminating in a deployment to the Balkans for Operation Joint Endeavor. Under deployment, she fielded some of the first Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) IMINT systems while simultaneously serving the U2 reconnaissance mission.

She continued her work in imagery and geospatial intelligence in joining BAE Systems Mission Solutions in 1998. During the Kosovo airstrikes, she was contracted by BAE to the Predator UAV IMINT cell at the Joint Analysis Center, RAF Molesworth, where she provided theatre-level targeting to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. During the Kosovo endeavor, she was among the first to use IMINT for tribunal case making. For her efforts, she was awarded for excellence by the National Reconnaissance Office and the European Command's Joint Analysis Center.

In the wake of the September 11th attacks, Allison received two BAE Chairman's Awards for Innovation for post-crisis imagery and geospatial intelligence production management.

In 2003, she became a Senior Analyst and Operations Coordinator for the Naval Special Warfare Command (SEALs) in Coronado, California, where she was cited by assault force commanders as the "field standard" for tactical intelligence production for the Joint Special Operations Command (Task Unit Arabian Peninsula, Baghdad).

Allison has conducted tactical and strategic IMINT training to intelligence specialists of the U.S. and international Special Forces, conventional joint and multi-national forces, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and the Earth Data Analysis Center. She has presented and coordinated briefings for NATO commanders, DoD agencies, the British Ministry of Defence, Secretaries of Defense Rumsfeld and Perry, and the House and Senate Sub-Committees on Intelligence Funding.

After obtaining her Master’s Degree from the Monterey Institute in International Security Policy in 2008 and her post as a Research Associate at the Naval Postgraduate School, she joined IHS Jane’s as their Senior Imagery Analyst. She works in Mountain View, California.

About IHS Jane’s (www.janes.com)

IHS Jane's is the leading open source information provider and conference organiser on defence, international risk and national security to governments, militaries, industries and academia around the globe. 2009 is the 100th anniversary of Jane’s All The Worlds Aircraft. IHS Jane’s, an IHS (NYSE: IHS) company, is headquartered in London, and also has offices in Alexandria, Virginia; Singapore; Tokyo; Dubai; and Sydney, Australia.

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Amanda Castle, +44 (0) 208 700 3745
IHS Press Desk, 303 305 8021